Aquino, Cabinet members urged to voluntarily take AIDS test


A national alliance of gay groups and a United Nations (UN) official on Saturday called on President Aquino and his Cabinet to voluntarily take an HIV-AIDS test to help dispel the stigma associated with routine testing for this disease.

The call was made as about a thousand members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups held their annual Metro Manila Pride March in Makati City on Saturday afternoon.

The Dangal (Pride) National Network, an alliance of 23 gay, bisexual and transgender groups, urged Mr. Aquino, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, and other Cabinet members to get tested to help reduce the stigma associated with the test.

Health advocates say the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease were among the factors behind the steep rise in HIV infections in the Philippines, one of only nine countries in the world where infections are increasing.

Many are ashamed to get themselves tested, Jonas Bagas, Dangal National Network president, said in a forum on HIV/AIDS.

Teresita Marie Bagasao, country representative of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, supported the appeal of Dangal, adding that leaders of other countries who have had themselves tested will serve as an example for their countrymen to follow.

“That’s an excellent call to action. Take the test at the highest level not so much because they are at risk but to dispel the stigma,” Bagasao said in the same forum.

“In many countries, what has happened is that the political leadership provides its support. One way for instance is a national day for testing. HIV-(testing) is still being stigmatized. We just want to normalize it,” she said.

“Taking the test is not something that people should be worried about. It’s normal if you want to know if you’re healthy. So, it’s more symbolic coming from leaders to do that,” she added.

Bagasao said action was needed because studies had shown that “only one-fourth” of Filipinos who have themselves tested return to find out the results.

“Three-fourths do not return and these are people who already had themselves tested. So, they really don’t know their status,” Bagasao said.

She also pointed out that only around 30 percent of “at risk” populations—men who have sex with men (MSM), men and women in prostitution, and drug addicts who use needles—have themselves tested.

“We won’t reach zero infection and zero deaths if we don’t address the stigma and discrimination,” Bagasao said.

Bagas said that, by having himself tested, the popular President would make a big impact in changing the mind set of members of the public who discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS.

Dangal, however, said the tests should remain voluntary.

“Mandatory testing is not only illegal, but more importantly, it is ineffective and will only worsen stigma around HIV. If you force gays, bisexuals and transgender people to undergo HIV testing, you will only push the community underground and will expose them to graver forms of abuse,” Dangal warned.

Dangal said it was not gay sex but unprotected sex that was behind the increase in HIV infections among the MSM.

“The reason why the epidemic is spreading in the community is because unprotected sex remains prevalent. It is unprotected sex that we must address,” Dangal said.

“Blaming gay sex, or pushing for its elimination, is a futile exercise. Male-to-male sex is here for good. What we can eliminate is stigma and discrimination, which prevent us from accepting that male-to-male sexual or romantic relationships are part of our humanity,” Dangal added.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Chloroform

    Perhaps the “Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS” can subsidize “free 6-month supply” of condoms for every person who undergoes this “AIDS test”? as added incentive…

  • Maldi2

    Bading ba talaga si Panot?

  • Sunn

    The social network site,the beliefs of male having sex with men that they cannot contract HIV with their unsafe sex(condom offers protection),promiscuity,inability to monitor the commercial sex workers HIV status,mobility on OFW,and in Phil it is still voluntary because of the existing law–are contributory to the increase incidence level of HIV..

  • KapitanBagwis

    What kind of insanity is this asking the president to take HIV test?

    • Albert Einstien

      why are you so surprised my friend…read between the lines……

  • $37644997

    Many are ashamed of themselves to get tested?but they are not ashamed at all as gays with so much pride in them even it takes their own lives.Those who don’t want to be tested and knows exactly what they have are considered criminals.

  • lumpiangshanghai

    These Gay and Lesbians, can they really distinguish and felt if a person is GAY? Why ask the president and cabinet members to get tested not the Senators, congressperson too? They often face the public and the danger is transfering other illnesses aside from AIDS? Do you think if P’noy is hiding inside the closet? God Knows what. Hay Ka Indo..

  • Philcruz

    It is this kind of mentality that makes sane people sometimes cringe at these gay groups. They are not doing their movements any good with such outlandish un-called for statements.

  • pabulaka

    What a stupid suggestion!!! If you know that you are monogamous, why would you subject yourself to this test? 

  • mangTASYO

    Yesterday: SODOM and GOMORRAH

    Today:  Pnoy should take HIV test to reduce the stigma and discrimination of….
    Tomorrow: He should try MSM to eliminate the stigma and discrimination of….

    Leviticus 18:22

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (KJV)

    Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. (NIV)

    “Darna…it is darn to sleeeep with a man: that is HIV.”- mangTASYO.

  • Rolly257

    Naubusan yata ng topic ang mga nagsulat nito.

  • boybakal

    Which is which? HIV Test or Aids Test?
    First, I read Pnoy should take HIV test, now I read Pnoy should take AIDS test.
    Is Pnoy getting serious about this virus? Or insinuating Pnoy is already a carrier.
    We are confused.

  • simonibarra27

    CBCP practices same sex sex! male to male, adult male priest and minors, lasty priest and unsuspecting female (blind) followers.They follow Gods commandment multiply.. Daming bastardo dito sa pinas. Kasi si father, father ng father.Sa mga sakristan PAPA. Chup chup! 

  • mekeni62

    don’t be silly. in fairness to Pnoy leave that to his discretion. you don’t impose it.

  • EdgarEdgar

    As the first gay president of this country, Noynoy owes it to the LGBT community to have himself tested. If Noynoy is really HIV negative, Noynoy can help dispel the notion that HIV is caused by homosexuality.

    At 52, Noynoy should have come to terms with his late father’s objection to his homosexuality.

    Think positive Noynoy.

    • jga94

      All your posts are anti-PNoy…no matter how far off the topic is from him….is it your life-long mission on earth to besmirch PNoy or is it your job?

      • EdgarEdgar

        I was sent from heaven by Noynoy’s mom to remind Noynoy not to go astray and not to be a big bully to the nice little girl. Lagot siya sa nanay niya as we all remember from Noynoy’s TV ad. I am also under special instructions from Noynoy’s dad to straighten him up. In short, I’m heaven sent. Now you know.

  • OneSearch

    Sino ba ang nagsabing nakakahiya ang magpapa HIV test. Regular na sinasalang ang mga katulad naming OFW sa test na ito at wala namang alinlangan, hindi kami nahihiya at nakakatulong pa nga dahil ang HIV ay marami rin hong pinanggagalingan di lang sex. Marami pag inilista natin dito. Pag pinatulan itong mga kababayan nating gays ay lalo lang tayong gugulo. Hala kung gusto mag-ispadahan sa kapwa niyo ay gawin niyo.

  • kilabot

    it is best to re-educate these perverts to free them from perverted biology; 
    try this: 

    corrective biology 101 
    human anatomy hides the anus deep between the buttocks; 
    it is hidden because it is one of the dirtiest human part used for vowel movement; 
    not supposed to be used other than its intended purpose, as passageway of human waste; 
    anus is not a reproductive sex organ, either. not designed for that; 
    what one gets when using it for sex is orga$m of germs; 
    foolishly, lgbts defy nature and in their perverted lu$t misuse the hole; 
    treating it like a hidden treasure to be expropriated instead of to keep away from; 
    so they caress it, kiss it, put makeup on it and penetrates it; 
    calling it love; deadly love; not the romeo&juliet deadly type; it’s the hiv/aids deadly type; 
    this love spreads hiv/aids; 25% more and faster; 
    many famous people have become victims of this love. all dead; 
    rockhudson, liberace, fredmercury, to name a few; 
    one thing good about this perversion is it is self-liquidating; no need for rhbill. 

    No to perversion! 

  • ever green

    Ang DANGAL ba ay PRIDE or DIGNITY????

  • Boying

    Mga gagong mga bakla to. Sainyo lang dapat yan kasi mga IMORAL KAYO!! PWET nyo warat warat na sa kabadingan nyo!!

  • Francis81

    Katakot lang ni Pweenoy magpa AIDS test kasi siguradong positive siya!

  • jga94

    This call is nothing but gimmickry…..if this group is really serious in trying to turn the tide against HIV in this country, an honest-to-goodness educational campaign —one that focuses on graphic depictions of how bad having AIDS is….shock-and-awe style….maraming Pinoy dapat takutin para matuto….

    And I do not think there is much discrimination vs people with AIDS here….it is more discrimination vs the type of lifestyle that people who get AIDS have (high-risk sexual behaviours)….I have seen babies born with HIV infection, generally people feel pity and empathy towards these angels….kaya nahihiya yung iba kasi alam nila kaya sila nagkaganoon kasi sa risky behaviors din nila….

  • Malik62

     BS Aquino X3 has been living an extremely sexually promiscuous life.  It will be no surprise if he tested HIV positive.

    • Barak_O





    • buttones

      I think that’s a myth- the President does not have any sort of ‘promiscuous’ life style- a few showings at events with nubile members of the thespian lot hardly represents a Berlusconian life style, not only that he works 363 days of the year 24/7 so he would hardly have the time for .. Er, ’that sort of thingy’….

    • Nilo C

      Baka ikaw yan Malik62 na merong “Extremely Sexually Promiscuous Life”. Mahilig ka ring pumasa ng tunay mong kalagayan sa buhay. Basketball Player ka ba igan???

  • jga94

    Meron bang moderator dito sa Disqus….andaming posters who are obviously so disrespectful and use downright sordid gutter language….free for all ba ito?Pare-pareho lang naman itong mga posters na ito…

  • Barak_O

    the reason why calamities and disasters happen regularly in the philippines

    audacious promiscous gays making noise about their freakin’ disease

  • Horst Manure

    Exchange needle programme would be a good idea for drug users as dirty needle are one of the main causes of HIV as it is a blood to blood disease, the only way one can catch it. 

  • disqusted0fu

    lets see if Aquino will listen to his kind. HIV/AIDS might be one of the few things that the president and his administration will have a positive result in.

  • mangTASYO

    Kasalanan ba “Ding” kung kulang ka ng testosterone?  Of course not!
    Kasalanan ba “Tiboy” kung sobrang dami ang yung testosterone? Of course not!
    Kasalanan ba “Budoy” kung kulang ka sa iyong pag-iisip? Of course not!
    Kabaliwan ba ang homosexuality? Of course not!

    Eh bakit?
    Dahil kahit ang baliw, alam niya kung saan ipapasok ang pagkain at kung saan ito lalabas.

    Yes, baliw knows that Broccoli is for Janus while E.Coli is for Anus.


    • Francis81

       Si Pweenoy sobra soabra ang testosterone kaya nakakalbo.

  • wakats

    The stigma of HIV-positives will never leave society because they’re highly contagious like leprosy.

    HIV testing is not necessary except for people who are at risk and practice unconventional sex, among others. 

    • headfonics

      Can you explain HIV from blood transfusions? Donating blood is another way to get HIV and it can get anyone regardless of orientation. Another is unsafe use of needles in any given environment like sharing needles or reusing them. Again this is nothing to do with sex.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos